Life Lessons Learned in Sobriety
My time spent in recovery from drugs and alcohol has been filled with little miracles, blessings, and many, many lessons. Each day in sobriety I learn something new about the world around me and how to best interact with said world. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned through working a spiritual program and living free from all mind-altering substances.
»Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness → We hear this all the time in therapy and in the rooms, but I have learned the hard way that asking for help is one of the bravest things a person can do. For awhile in my sobriety, I carried around this false belief that just because I was sober, I should be 100% healthy, not needing any therapy, psychiatry, or anything of the like. Unfortunately, this false belief lead me to some dark days in my sobriety. This is when I truly learned that strong people recognize when they are struggling and reach out for the appropriate help. I learned to ask my Higher Power of my understanding for help, but also started reaching out to sober supports and my outpatient treatment team. My life goes much more smoothly when I have a team of strong women by my side, helping me to sort through challenging emotions and learn more about my strengths along the way.
»Letting go of the past → This has been a huge lesson for me in sobriety. Letting go of the past does not mean forgetting about it and pretending it never happened; rather, I have learned that letting go of the past means I no longer let it negatively impact my present. As soon as I started accepting my past, my days were filled with much more positivity and hope. I have come to accept that there are no mistakes in my past — only opportunities for spiritual growth and personal development.
»Recovery is a lifelong journey → This used to overwhelm me in my early days of sobriety. I didn’t want to define my life by being a recovering addict and alcoholic. As time went on and I started developing a relationship with a God of my understanding, I started to experience such gratitude for my life in recovery. Working a program of recovery has shown me the joy I can experience each and every day as long as I let go of my self-will and trust in a power greater than myself. I now know that life is just one huge lesson — both the positive and negative events in my life occur to teach me something about being a better person.
»Give it back → Love and service. I always heard, “you can’t keep what you have unless you give it away.” I finally understand what this means! Today, I have the blessing of sponsoring some amazing girls, and I must say, it is one of the highlights of my sobriety. My sponsees teach me so much every single time we meet up to do step work or just catch up on the phone. And service does not just include sponsorship — it also means going to meetings, sharing in meetings, and saying “yes” when someone asks me to speak for them.
These are just a few of many things I have learned in recovery, and I know that I will continue to grow as long as I work a program of recovery. Although my life continues to have its ups and downs, as we all experience, I now have plenty of tools to use when needed. Recovering from addiction is not easy, but it is 100% possible. If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact Recovery Advocates today. Let us help you on your journey to freedom from drugs and alcohol.